Genosubtyping by sequencing group A, B and C meningococci; a tool for epidemiological studies of epidemics, clusters and sporadic cases

APMIS. 2000 Jul-Aug;108(7-8):509-16.


Genosubtyping, by sequencing variable regions (VRs) 1, 2 and 3 of the porA gene, was evaluated as a tool to detect clonality of isolates in meningococcal epidemics in Africa and clusters of disease in Sweden. All 63 examined meningococcal isolates were successfully genosubtyped. The isolates belonging to group A type 4 with genosubtype P1.20,9,35a showed little heterogeneity in African epidemics in 1988 and onwards. In Sweden, two meningococcal clones of group B type 15, with genosubtypes P1.7,16,35 and P1.7,16f,35, dominated during two clusters of meningococcal disease in 1995-96 and in sporadic cases thereafter. The characterisation of group C meningococci isolated during 1992 in Sweden indicated a cluster (type 2a with genosubtype P1.5a,10d,36b) connected with a discotheque visit. Two variants of VR2 (10p and 25b), not previously described, were found among the examined isolates. Nucleotide sequence analysis of VRs in the porA gene proved a valuable epidemiological tool since almost all isolates could be genosubtyped, in contrast to the phenotypic methods presently used.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Africa / epidemiology
  • Bacterial Typing Techniques
  • Epidemiologic Studies
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Meningitis, Meningococcal / epidemiology
  • Meningitis, Meningococcal / microbiology*
  • Neisseria meningitidis / classification*
  • Neisseria meningitidis / genetics
  • Porins / classification*
  • Porins / genetics
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA


  • Porins
  • porin protein, Neisseria